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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2008 Mar 1;84(3):817-27.

Adhesion of eukaryotic cells and Staphylococcus aureus to silicon model surfaces.

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Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Regensburg, Universitätsstrasse 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany.


Silicon wafers modified by silanisation with different functional groups are used to study the bioactivity of surfaces with varying physicochemical properties. Oxidation of the wafers created very hydrophilic surfaces, and moderately wettable surfaces were produced by coating with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Immobilization of hydrocarbon chains to the wafers produced hydrophobic surfaces, and hydrophobicity was further increased by fluorocarbon coatings. The oxidized and the hydrocarbon-modified surfaces supported the adhesion of human MG-63 osteoblasts and 3T3 mouse fibroblasts as well as Staphylococcus aureus 8325-4. Adhesion of osteoblasts and fibroblasts, however, was decreased on highly hydrophobic fluorocarbon surfaces, whereas adhesion of S. aureus was supported. Coating of the fluorocarbon surface with fibronectin increased the number of attached eukaryotic cells, but the accumulation of bacteria remained unchanged. In contrast, surface coatings with PEG-groups inhibited the binding of S. aureus; however, the adhesion of the eukaryotic cells was high. The number of S. aureus on PEG-modified surfaces covered with fibronectin increased about twofold, yet it was still decreased to 25-30% related to the number of bacteria on other surfaces. These findings provide evidence that the PEG-modified surfaces showed selective bioactivity, preventing the attachment of a microbial pathogen but supporting the adhesion of eukaryotic cells.

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